Being in public never used to bother me. Like Casper the friendly ghost, I wasn't noticed unless I was actively putting myself out there. I was invisible and I got to choose when to throw a sheet over my life and be seen. I'd always be entertaining me and my friends by going up to strangers and starting absurd conversations, or shouting to cute boys on the street from the car window. It didn't matter if I made a fool out of myself, the sheet would just fly away like it always did. Although I was always popular in school, I often felt like the fat friend. Eyes always looking at who was walking next to me, compliments to the girls I would sit with. Secretly, I always wanted to be the one who got the not so discreet glares, even the offensive lines from strangers seemed appealing to me. Once I transformed my body and my mind, everything changed.
"Larry look at the men staring at your daughter..." Going out to dinner with my family was a new experience. It was hard not to notice the eyes that now followed me. What I used to long for now interfering with my me time. The whispers when I walk by might not be judgmental anymore, but that is what I'm familiar with. The glares aren't full of pity, but they still bring up those emotions. If I go up to a group of boys the way I used to, I can't just run away like it never happened. I might now have what I used to wish for, but these new interactions still carry the same discomfort from my past. I'm so unbelievably comfortable with myself and who I've become, until I step out in public. Now I care. I want to represent the person I know I am. I don't want to be misunderstood or falsely judged. I want to share a smile and pass it on. Somehow, I've become uncomfortable being confident. I wish they'd stop staring. I wish they thought I was fat and sad again. I don't believe I suffered from anxiety with my depression, that would require me caring. Take away my hopelessness, fill my world with dreams, anxiety is my new companion.
I remind myself what's important to me. Maintain my values. Try to leave each and every person I interact with feeling happier than before. Know my worth. I know where I come from. I know what it took to get where I am today. I feel beautifully happy. I smile from inside my heart. What happens around me is my scenery. There are times where I feel sad that one of my more enjoyable characteristics has faded, but I remember the fresh new vibes I now carry with me. I have so much more to offer and I will take my time learning how.